Unlike fixed credit card machines, a mobile card reader can be used just about anywhere. Gone are the days when a card holder needed to take their card to the till in order for their payment to be made. Although many retail outlets still use such systems, especially supermarkets where the customer is passing through the point of sale on their way to the exit anyway, today all sorts of businesses can take advantage of card payments thanks to the fully mobile card terminal.
Remote Card Readers
For some time, terminals which can read cards have been used in settings like bistros and bars in order to offer customers greater convenience when making a payment. It is important to note that these systems differ from fully mobile card machines in that they will only work within a certain range from the base unit. Although the information required to conduct a transaction from a remote unit is passed wirelessly to the base, the transaction is still commonly passed on to a fixed telephone line. Only then is the merchant's service provider contacted for authorisation. Such remote card readers extend the existing technology, but do not offer fully mobile services so that payments can be made outside of the business premises, for example.
How Do Mobile Card Machines Work?
Instead of using a remote card reader and base unit, a mobile credit card reader takes advantage of the inter-connectivity of the mobile phone network and of Wi-Fi hotspots in order to process transactions. This means that goods and services can be paid for in just about any location, whether indoors or outside. Instead of a traditional PDQ machine, an app is downloaded to the seller's smart device. Both smartphones and tablets are capable of working with the system. The seller enters the transaction amount into the app in a screen that looks no more complex than a simple calculator.
The customer then inserts their card into the SumUp mobile card reader and the transaction can proceed. Once the customer is happy, the merchant service provider is contacted via the mobile phone network or through Wi-Fi, if the smart device happens to be connected to an available service. At this point, the payment authorised with the relevant transaction information being displayed on screen within the app. A receipt can then be produced easily which is either printed out or emailed to the customer, keeping the entire process wireless, fully mobile and internet-enabled.
Security Measures With Mobile Card Payments
Unlike card holder not present transactions, which are usually made via the web or over the phone, with a portable card reader mobile chip and PIN is used to accept card payments. This gives customers a greater sense of security when making a payment than ringing a third party to read out their card's number over the phone, for example. Mobile chip and PIN means the customer enters their four-digit number into the reader only after the chip's data has been read. At any point in the process, the data stored in the card remains encrypted and secure. The seller has no access to the customer's personal identification number, just like a fixed line PDQ.
What Are the Advantages of Fully Mobile Transactions?
One of the first things to say about a mobile card system is that it allows payments to be secured immediately. For sales personnel, this can be a big advantage because it allows them to obtain a payment or secure a deposit whilst their customer is fully-engaged in what it is that is being sold. For sales reps who call in at their customers' homes and business premises, this means being able to turn a potential order into a fully-paid for sale.
For anyone who works outside, or who provides their services outside of a traditional business premises, a mobile system gives them just the same sort of flexibility with payments as other businesses. Often, sole traders and people who run firms which call door-to-door can only accept cash or take a cheque payment. Doing away with cash means the risk of theft is diminished and bad credit becomes less of an issue thanks to mobile credit card processing, as opposed to accepting cheques.